22
Mag-2013

New York’s Beaches: Ocean Bay Park in Fire Island

New York is the city of the extremes! Extreme cold winters and summers as hot as hell. I left Spain where summer doesn’t want to start and I’ve arrived in the Big Apple, where as soon as I walk out of the airport, I am having troubles breathing because of the hot air. And it’s nine pm! The cab driver tells me it has been cold up until yesterday, so I feel flattered that my city has ‘warmly’ welcome me back.

The Andalusia region in Spain is beautiful, rich in history and traditions, but beside the unexpected cold weather, I was a little disappointed by its beaches. I’m kind of picky when it comes to it, since I’m used to crystal clear waters and soft sand under my feet. Sardinia is still few months away and when the heat starts, it’s when I miss it even more. Some times, in order to find some comfort, I’ve entrusted the ocean and local beaches to take care of my needs. Yes, in New York we have beaches as well! People often forget that New York is not only “City” but a large state that reaches Canada in the north and border five more American states. Anyhow, there are different places to chose from: amongst the others, the famous Hamptons, in the eastern part of Long Island; Coney Island, also knows as the New Yorkers’ beach; Long Beach, just one hour away by train and my favorites of all, Fire Island Beaches.

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Ocean Bay Park – the docks

Fire Island is a long strip of land, about 31 miles, along the south coast of Long Island. Some of the areas are reachable by car crossing the bridges that connects them to the mainland, like Robert Moses; others are only reachable via ferry, since cars are not allowed on the island. Ocean Bay Park is one of these, half hour ferry ride from Bay Shore. It’s not Sardinia of course, but the beaches are huge and well kept, the sand is fair and soft, and the water is clean. The strong currents though make the ocean murky but during some dead calm days (rarely, but they do happen!)  the waters can be crystal clear here as well.

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The problem is not the transparency as much as the temperature, and usually I’m able to get only my feet wet that I soon start to feel the freezing cold all the way to the top of my head!

But the wooden home along the coast, the deer living here that sometime come on the beach looking for food, the absence of motor vehicles and the peace that comes from all of this, make Ocean Bay Park the perfect place to spend a day or a weekend, escaping from the city chaos.

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